Latest Blog Posts

Taking your backyard BBQ to the next level
How to Throw a Buy-Local Party!
Big Deck Design Tips from Trex
Going Up! Deck sizes are on the rise!
Don't Slip on your Deck!
Advice from Country Financial
3 Ways to Start the New Year Right
Decorate your Deck with these Unique Christmas Projects
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What Our Customers are Saying:

We have a GORGEOUS new deck…and it’s even safe to walk upon without fear of falling through it! The crew was truly remarkable to work under such challenging conditions and we had on Wednesday. Luddly commented that your team works though all kinds of weather…just like the U.S. Postal Service.

- Bob and Priscilla, Corvallis

Dec 5

Why Outdoor Living Doesn't Stop During Winter - A Guide to Fire Pits




Outdoor living doesn’t need to stop during winter. For the colder months, a fire pit can extend the enjoyment of your backyard. A cozy fire is just the thing to bring together the people you love for roasting marshmallows or creating a luxury environment for a party.

Bringing People Together

People love to gather around a fire. Instead of watching TV every night, fire pits are great for bringing the family together to make s’mores or roast hot dogs. And when the kids go to bed, fire pits are equally suited for romantic nights for two with a glass of wine.

A warm fire also becomes a focal point at gatherings and dinner parties for people to gather around to enjoy a warm drink and good conversation. A fire pit can even be the main reason people are invited to your home when you say, “Come on over, we’re lighting a fire tonight!” Add comfortable seating and you’ve got an event!



Style and Material

You can buy a ready made fire pit or you can build a fire pit yourself out of a variety of materials such as stone, brick, concrete, or metal. With a variety of styles and materials, you can pick the fire pit that best shows off your personality and your home. Keep in mind that heavier stone materials will last longer than lightweight metals.

An increasingly popular option is the fire table. A fіrе table іѕ like а patio table made out of metal, marble, tile, or stone, but wіth a submerged bowl in the center fоr уоur fіrе. Fire tables are a great option because they can be mobile, have surface space for drinks or plates of food, can be either wood burning or gas burning, and many convert to a full table for more surface area.



Gas vs Wood Burning

Wood burning fire pits will give off the most heat and can be used for cooking marshmallows or other BBQ foods. But wood fires can take a bit more effort to start and maintain, give off more irritating smoke, and flying sparks increase fire dangers.

Gas fire pits do not put out as much heat and are not recommended for cooking food, but start with the flick of a switch, which makes them easier to use. Gas fire pits also don’t give off irritating smoke or flying sparks, which makes them safer and more enjoyable. Natural gas fire pits are more expensive to install and cannot be moved, but are easier to maintain; propane fire pits are more mobile, but require propane tanks that can be hard to hide and will need to be refilled.



Safety First

Be sure safety is top of your list! Place your fire pit at lеаѕt tеn feet frоm уоur home, thrее tо fіvе feet frоm any furniture, and remember to look up! Keep a clearance of roughly 30 feet vertically to avoid accidents with low hanging trees or structures.

If using a wood fire pit, do not place it directly on a deck without a fireproof mat and use a spark arrestor or safety screen. Surround your fire pit with a non-combustible surface: dirt, paving stones, or concrete. And make sure to keep a container of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher nearby whenever you light up the fire pit.

Tell us how you enjoy your outdoor living space during the winter months – post on our Facebook page!


Nov 6

Winterizing Your Deck



Winter is coming and it’s time to start thinking about how to maintain your deck before the cold & wet weather sets in.

The harsh winter season can take a toll on your deck, so if you want your investment to last, winterizing your deck is a must. Winterizing can be as simple as clearing and cleaning it; however if your deck is more than a few years old, it may require more attention.

Remove Planters and Furniture

Wash outdoor furniture and, if possible, store indoors to avoid leaving marks on the decking from rust or weathering.

If you can, remove all planters, pots, and containers. Moisture trapped between the deck and plastic, wood, or ceramic containers can encourage mildew, discoloration, or decay.

However, if that isn’t an option, rotate the pots on a regular basis and put them on “risers” of some sort. You can stop by the TnT office and pick up scraps of composite decking that works great for this purpose. These risers keep water from collecting under the planter and potentially damaging your decking as well as increasing air circulation around the base of the pot & the roots of any remaining plants.

Clear Debris

Sweep off leaves as soon as possible. Leaves can trap a lot of moisture on your deck and if left to decompose can leave stains or even start to rot your deck.

While sweeping, make sure you dislodge any debris in-between the boards. When boards are too close together or are packed with debris, you can end up with standing water which eventually leads to mold and rot damage.

Clear board gaps also promotes proper air circulation to make sure excess moisture isn’t trapped underneath your deck, helping keep mold and rot at bay.

Clean All Surfaces

Next, thoroughly clean the deck to remove slippery mold, mildew, and moss and prevent potential staining.

Power washing can restore the beauty of a well-used deck, but should be done with care. Pressure set too high can remove the finish or even scar wood.

The best thing to do is give your deck a good wash. Any kind of outdoor cleaner will do (we recommend Oxyclean or 30 Seconds Outdoor Cleaner). Spray it on, give it time to work its magic, give it a little scrub with a soft brush and rinse it off.

Inspect and Repair

Now that your deck is cleared and clean, this is a good time to inspect your deck and make sure you don’t have any sagging boards, loose railings, or rotting areas. It can be detrimental and hazardous to procrastinate repairing your deck. Make any necessary repairs before cold and wet conditions make your deck problems worse.

If you need deck repairs or replacement we’d be happy to help you out! Feel free to give us a call at 541-926-3117 or email us at info@tntbuildesrinc.com.


Feb 27

Spring Clean Your Deck Without Damaging It



Which methods are best: pressure washing vs. chemical cleaners, chlorine bleach vs. oxygen bleach, staining vs. sealing, water vs. oil based?

Spring is just around the corner, and it’s time to get your deck ready for the summer! Early spring is the best time to get your deck ready for the year because the weather is cool and washing a deck in summer heat puts a lot of stress on the wood. But how do you clean your deck without damaging it? Here are a few way to get your deck ready for the summer without causing damage:

Prevent Wood Rot by CLEARING

The first step is to clear your entire deck. Clear the deck of any furniture, rugs, grills, planters, etc. Don’t be tempted to try to work around your BBQ or table, move it all off. Next, remove any nearby vegetation that is growing onto your deck, like tree branches, vines, or bushes. Then, sweep off any remaining debris, leaves, and branches with a broom (leaving organic materials on your deck traps moisture and can cause wood rot). Finally, use a putty knife to “floss” out any debris between the deck boards to promote water flow and prevent wood rot.

Prevent Disaster by REPAIRING

Once your deck is cleared, you need to inspect your deck for any damage. Check the decking for any loose or raised boards, splintered boards, or raised nails. Replace any bad boards and replace any raised nails with a larger nail or screw to get more of a “bite” into the deck frame. Check the deck railing for any loose posts, caps, rails, or balusters. If you see any signs of damage, replace or repair the problem areas.

Composite decking and hand rails may not require as much maintenance as a traditional wood decking, but you still want to inspect the support structure below. Bounce up and down on the deck and see if the structure seems weakened. Look underneath your deck for any loose lag bolts, deck fasteners, or wood rot. If you see any structural damage, contact a professional deck builder to make repairs before using your deck.

Brighten Your Deck by WASHING

After repairing your deck, you need to wash it clean of any dirt and mildew. But how should you wash your deck to prevent damaging it?

Pressure washing vs. chemical cleaners. Cleaning your deck with a pressure washer can save you time and doesn’t use any harsh chemicals. Pressure washing a composite deck is usually fine, however pressure washing a wood deck can quickly damage the deck by leaving large gouges or make your deck looking “fuzzy” by raising the wood fibers. If you must pressure wash, use a low pressure setting (around 800 psi), use a wide nozzle (40 degrees or more), hold the nozzle at least a foot away from the deck surface, and keep spraying in a constant motion to avoid gouges.
Most people find that scrubbing their deck with a long handled stiff bristled brush and deck cleaners is the best option. But what kind of cleaners should you use?

Chlorine bleach vs. oxygen bleach. Cleaning your deck with diluted chlorine bleach is usually the most effective at killing mildew, but it’s also the most effective way to damage your decking material. Chlorine bleach breaks down lignin, which is the glue that holds the wood fibers together, causing visible damage as well as preventing your deck stain or sealant from properly bonding to the wood. Chlorine bleach can also damage nearby plant life, siding, paint, and walkways.

Deck cleaners containing oxygen bleach remove mildew and other residue from the decking without destroying the wood. They are also non-toxic for plants, pets, and people, because they simply break down into oxygen and soda ash. However, unlike pressure washing or chlorine bleach, you might need to do a bit of scrubbing with a long handled stiff bristled brush to get your deck as clean as you’d like it.

After washing and rinsing your composite deck, you’re done! Now just bring back all of your furniture and enjoy your summer outdoors. If your deck is wood, let it dry for 2 to 3 days before doing any sanding, staining, or sealing.

Protect Your Deck by SEALING

If your wood deck has grayed, you can sand the cedar when it’s dry. You can rent a large random orbital sander with 80-grit paper and use a handheld random-orbit sander along the edges and hand rails. Before you start, make sure every exposed screw or nail is safely below the wood surface. Sand lightly until all the gray is gone and blow off all remaining sanding dust. Then you should seal or stain your deck, but which should you use?

Sealing vs. staining. Typically, decks should be re-sealed or re-stained every 1 to 2 years to protect against water and UV damage. If you want the natural color of your deck to shine through, then you can use a clear deck sealant to protect from water damage. However, if you want to add some color to your deck, deck stains protect your deck from water damage and UV damage because most deck stains contain a sealant and the added color pigments actually protect your deck from UV rays. Both deck stains and sealants can be water or oil based.

Water vs. oil based. Oil-based stains are used by many professionals and last longer that water-based stains, however oil-based stain can only be cleaned up with paint thinner and can only adhere to wood previously treated with oil-based products. Water-based stains are less durable than oil-based, however water-based products are more environmentally friendly, can be cleaned up with water, and can adhere to wood surfaces already treated with either water or oil-based stains. When applying either water or oil-based stains, make sure the temperature is between 50 to 90 degrees F, do not apply in direct sunlight, make sure the coat only three or four boards at a time to prevent lap marks, and apply two thin coats rather than one thick coat.

Enjoy Your Deck with FINISHING

Beyond repairing, cleaning, and staining, there are other things you can do to get your deck ready for spring. Why not consider modifying or adding to your deck before the season starts? Adding some outdoor lighting, like string lights, porch lights, or hand rail lighting, can make your outdoor living space useful for more hours of the day and night. Planter boxes are relatively easy to build, simple to maintain, and a great way to incorporate greenery into your deck. Built-in benches are another add-on that can help make more efficient use of your space. Finally, simply replacing your deck furniture with a new set can make a huge impact on the overall look of your deck.

For more ideas on how to update your deck, go to: www.tntbuildersinc.com; for more help on how to maintain your deck, visit us at: www.tntbuildersinc.com/maintenance; and for help with repairing and replacing your deck, contact us at: info@tntbuildersinc.com.


Feb 2

TnT Builders Wins the 2016 Angie's List Super Service Award

We are incredibly excited to announce that we’ve won the 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award! We work incredibly hard to make sure our customers are not only satisfied, but that they LOVE their new deck/patio cover and that they LOVE working with us! Thank you to everyone who gave us such glowing reviews!
Check out our Angie’s List Page.






Jan 4

Does Snow and Ice Damage Your Deck?



Does Snow and Ice Damage Your Deck?

When a winter storm hits and the snow starts falling on your deck, what are you supposed to do? You might be worried that large amounts of snow and ice collecting on your deck could possibly cause moisture or structural damage. However, improperly removing snow and ice from your deck can actually cause more harm than good. Needless or improper snow shoveling can leave your deck with costly scrapes or gouges. So when and how do you remove snow and ice from your deck or patio?

Do you really need to remove that snow and ice?

Don’t worry about moisture damage. While you may be worried that snow and ice can cause moisture damage, plastic and composite deck boards aren’t damaged by water. Cedar decks are also naturally resistant rotting and warping.

Don’t worry about your deck collapsing. Properly constructed decks are required to support more snow that most roofs, between 40 to 60 psf (pounds per square foot), and 3 feet of snow only weighs between 42 and 63 psf. Since most deck handrails are around 3 feet high, you don’t need to worry about snow weight unless you can no longer see your deck rails.

There are only two situations that require shoveling: When you need to create an exit route from your door, and when the snow gets higher than your deck rails.

Does and Don’ts of Removing Snow and Ice:

DO put safety first. Don’t go out onto your deck if you might get hurt by needlessly overexerting yourself in the cold or slipping on an icy surface. When there is thin layer of snow or ice on your deck, the best thing to do is to wait until it melts through the gaps in your decking.

DO clear the snow to provide an exit path from your house. You should always have two separate exit paths from your house for safety, and if your second exit is a deck covered in deep snow, then you should clear a path. But all you need clear is a path 3ft wide; no need to shovel the entire deck.

DON’T use a metal shovel. You might scratch your deck using a metal shovel, so instead, use a plastic or rubber blade shovel. If you have to use a metal shovel as your only option, leave a thin layer of snow on top rather than letting your metal shovel come in direct contact with the deck surface.

DO shovel parallel to your deck boards. Shoveling across (perpendicular) the boards increases the risk that your shovel will catch the edge of a board and damage the surface.

DO use a broom or leaf blower for light snow. If snow is fluffy and less than four inches deep, it’s easy to brush away with a simple broom rather than risking scratching your deck with a shovel. Or if you have one available, use a leaf blower.

DON’T shatter ice on your deck. Banging and chopping at ice on your deck can seriously hurt the deck boards with scratches and gouges, even if you’re using a plastic shovel.

DO use the right ice melting product for your deck type. Salt and calcium chloride are considered safe for composite decks like Timbertech and Trex. But with wood, you have to be careful when choosing an ice removal product. Check what products are safe for your material. However, do not use ice melting products on a deck that is above any landscaping as some of those products may kill plant life.

DON’T put sand on a wood deck. Some people use sand as an alternative to chemical ice melts for preventing slippage, but sand is an abrasive substance and can scratch the decking surface.

DO remove icicles that hang over your deck. Large icicles that form on your roof may fall onto your deck—and because they are sharp, they may damage wood.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to keep safe and avoid damaging your deck during the winter seasons so you can enjoy it worry free for years to come!


Feb 1

TnT Builders wins 'Best of Houzz.com 2016' award for customer service!


Nov 9

Albany Oregon Deck & Patio Cover


Aug 26

Double Patio Cover with Outdoor Kitchen


Jul 15

Corvallis Oregon Screened Patio Cover


Jul 14

Trex Deck with Built in Benches | Albany Oregon


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